FS-2024-08: Tips for success using Direct File

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IRS Newswire March 12, 2024

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Issue Number:    FS-2024-08

Inside This Issue

Tips for success using Direct File

The IRS Direct File pilot is a new choice for eligible taxpayers to file their 2023 federal tax return online for free, directly with IRS.

Direct File is easy to use and helps them:

  • File a 2023 federal tax return – for free – in English or Spanish
  • Add their tax information with step-by-step guidance
  • Connect with real-time online support from IRS customer service representatives
  • Access it from smartphones, laptops, tablets and desktop computers

Check your eligibility
Direct File is available to you if you live in one of the 12 participating states and report certain types of income, deductions and credits. Check your eligibility at the Direct File website to determine if Direct File is the right option for you.

The participating pilot states are, Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts. Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington state and Wyoming. No additional states will be added to the pilot.

If you’re eligible, use the below information to help you prepare to file your return with Direct File.

Gather your personal information

Organize your tax records
You may be eligible to join the pilot if you report these income types:

Direct File is not an option if you have other types of income such as retirement income, gig economy or business income.

If you aren’t claiming any credits or deductions, you can use Direct File if you’re eligible and take the standard deduction.

If you’re eligible, you can claim the limited number of credits and deductions below if you use Direct File and you must take the standard deduction.

Prepare to claim credits
Direct File allows you to claim the following credits:

Direct File is not an option if you claim other tax credits like the Child and Dependent Care Credit, Saver’s Credit or the Premium Tax Credit if you had Marketplace health insurance coverage.

Prepare to take tax deductions
Direct File allows you to claim the following deductions.

Direct File is not an option if you itemize or claim other tax deductions.

to Direct File securely
To use Direct File, you need an IRS account with ID.me. If you are an existing ID.me member, do not create another account. You can use your existing account to access Direct File.

If you’ve never created an ID.me account and are 18 years of age or older, create an account using your personal email and then verify your identity to access Direct File. You only need to verify your identity once — then you can use your ID.me account to access Direct File and other IRS online services.

Verifying your identity is quick and can be done using self-service or on a video call with an ID.me agent. Learn more about the sign-up process for an IRS ID.me account.

Signing your Direct File tax return electronically

When self-preparing your taxes and filing electronically, you must sign and validate your electronic tax return by entering your prior-year Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or your prior-year Self-Select PIN.

Since you are using Direct File for the first time, you must enter the information yourself.

There are several ways to find your prior-year AGI:

  • On your 2022 tax return, your AGI is on line 11 of the Form 1040.
  • Use your online account to immediately view your AGI on the Tax Records tab.
  • Use Get Transcript by Mail. You can also request a transcript by mail by calling our automated phone transcript service at 800-908-9946. Please allow 5 to 10 days for delivery.

If you have an Identity Protection (IP) PIN (via a CP01A or the Get an IP PIN Tool), you must enter it when prompted by Direct File. It will serve to verify your identity instead of your prior-year AGI or prior-year Self Select PIN.

Find out more about Direct File


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